Day 217 | 16 August 2015 | Dunghari to Batha | The Walk of Hope 2015-16

  • Mud house with a fancy bike parked within - Rola
  • 2.We-passed-village-after-village-competing-with-each-other-in-greenery!!,-Jora-Vasan,-Valsad,-Gujarat
  • WOH Day 217 - The Monsoon has draped the land with a velvety green lush blanket -Khaperwada
  • Spider lilies get ready for the flower market - Jora
  • 5.It-is-a-
  • Reception at Goiandi village - Valsad
  • Along the narrow ridge leading to the bridge over River Kaveri - Valsad
  • over to Navsari district with Bilimora a kilometer away - Navsari
  • 9.Many-houses-in-Bilimora-have-an-antique-look!!,-Navsari,-Gujarat
  • 10.With-humidity-so-high,-no-wonder-he-has-good-business!!,-Navsari,-Gujarat
  • Crossing the bridge over Ambika river - Navsari
  • Enthusiastic school children lead us to Khodiyar Ma temple - Bhata
  • A floral carpet welcomes Sri M and the padayatris -Navsari
  • Sri M offering prayers at the Khodiyar Ma temple -Bhata
  • Sri M at the short satsang at the Khodiyar Ma Temple -Bhata
  • Sri M offering worship at the Somnath temple - Bilimoria
  • The impressive gopuram of the Somnath temple all decked up for the night - Navsari
The village of Batha in Navsari district today accorded Sri M’s Walk of Hopea ceremonial welcome at its entrance. Thus they entered the second district of Gujarat - covering a distance of 16 kms - after walking through villages like Rola, JoraVasan, Khaperwada and Bilimora. The walk today passed through what seemed like a large village - themed gardens with mud and stone houses, children playing about and elders working in small farms. The recent rains had left the land vibrant in million shades of green and walking on the narrow village roads was delightful, especially after having passed through industrial areas in the last few days.

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Walking on the highway, they passed into Navsari district—one of the oldest settlements of Gujarat, with an inspiring history of over 2000 years. 'Navsari' – literally meaning ‘New Town’ in Persian, is the area where the Parsis arrived in India in 1140 A.D; many of them settled here finding the city's atmosphere similar to that of Sari region of Iran. The rivers Kaveri and Ambika were full as the padayatra crossed them, both muddy brown after the relentless rains of the last few days. Bilimora – the land of Bilv trees – and home to Somnath Mahadeva temple,lies at the confluence of the rivers Ambika, Kaveri and Kharera. The Hindus consider a confluence of three rivers a sacred spot. Facing the Arabian Sea and visible from it, the temple is an imposing structure standing 108 feet high and offers a spectacular view. Daily, hundreds of devotees line up for a darshan and the grand, month long religious celebration - the 'Shravan Mela' - in the temple complex sees more than 300,000 people visit and participate in the festivities. As they reached Batha village, a group of 50 children, some with drums and trumpets, greeted Sri M and the padayatra and led the procession into their village. The yatris were first taken to the Khodiyar Mata temple in the village. They were led by enthusiastic school children and were showered with flowers as they walked by. They were accorded a grand welcome in front of the ancient temple and offered refreshments. After a short break, Sri M and the padayatris offered their prayers. There was a gathering of about 300 at the temple and Sri M addressed them: “Om Sarve Bhavantu Sukhinah Sarve Santu Nir-Aamayaah Sarve Bhadraanni Pashyantu Maa Kashcid-Duhkha-Bhaag-Bhavet Om Shaantih Shaantih Shaantih Om, May All become Happy, May All be Free from Illness. May All See what is Auspicious, May no one Suffer. Om Peace, Peace, Peace. Loka samasta sukinoh bhavantu - May the entire universe be happy” “My namaskaars to all of you. I will speak in Hindi because I do not know Gujarati; I can understand a little but I cannot speak it. I know ‘Khemcho’ and ‘Maja ma’.” “You are seeing me here in front of you. I am 66 years old. You must be wondering why I am walking. I am walking because our message and our aim is very important.” “We started on 12th January from Kanyakumari. We have covered close to 3300 kilometers and have reached your state, Gujarat. This is not a rathayatra. This is a padayatra. We have covered this distance by walking and not using a vehicle. We still have to cover another 5000 kilometers. We will reach Srinagar in April 2016. This is our aim. With God’s grace, we will reach there.” “I am not alone - there are many who are walking with me from Kanyakumari and will walk till Srinagar. Other than them, people come and stay for a few days and go back. Our aim is only one - I am not standing for elections, I do not want a party ticket.We are walking for Oneness, for Manav Ekta.” “If Manav Ekta is not there, if we do not stand united, India will not be strong. We do not have to see one’s religion, we do not have to see one’s caste or creed; we have to leave all that behind. That age is gone .A new age is opening in front of us and people are trying hard to make India become a great nation, a greater nation than what it already is.” “Our work is to contribute in whatever way we can. These small children in front of me - we have to plant the seeds of harmony and oneness in their hearts. If these seeds are planted in their hearts when they are still young, they will then become good citizens in the future. They will go back and teach these things - that we are all one; that, beneath these differences, we are all humans. If this happens, India will become strong, you are already seeing the environment.” “The message of peace and harmony has to go out into the world and it has to go from India. Otherwise,I feel our future will not be good. We are walking for this. We walk when it is hot; we walk when it rains; we will walk when it is cold in Varanasi. “I have wandered for many years in the Himalayas, I left home, found my Babaji and wandered with him. When he placed his hand on my head, then my mind completely changed. I experienced that there is a spark of the Supreme Reality in the heart of all beings.” “In all of you, those who are here and those who are not here, if there is a spark of the Supreme Truth, then you are walking temples of God. And, just as one prays in the temples, bowing down to human beings is bowing down to God. So, I bow down in front of you. I bow down to the God in your hearts who sits as the antaryami.” “Wherever you go, tell people that we are all one.” “People call me Sri M. ‘M’ means Manav and nothing else. There is nothing else. I am happy that all of you are here in Batha. There is a Satsang in the evening in the Somnath Temple; please come there and we will speak about spiritual things and not about this walk.” Sri M spoke about the many people who are walking with him from Kanyakumari to Kashmir, mentioning them by name. “There are many people who have left their homes and are walking with us. It is only because of their devotion that they are walking with us. I sometimes feel that when we reach Kashmir they should not become yogis and leave home!” “If you have the time, please come to Somnath Temple for the Satsang.” “Namaskaar, Dhanyawaad and Salaam.” The yatris left for their resting place after this and reached the Somnath Mahadeva Temple of Navsari a little after noon. The temple dharmshala, not more than 50 meters from the temple, was the resting place for the day. While the padayatris are more than happy to stay in a dharmashala - especially in a temple - they are often overwhelmed by the frenetic activity at such places. Hundreds of people flow through the temple premises ever so often; there remains one thing that is constant at such places – an unending din, a ceaseless background of voices. People start visiting the temple at 3.00 pm and this continues till 1.00 am in the night, when the temple looks stunning in beautifully rendered lighting. The temple authorities had organised lunch and dinner for the walkers. In the evening, the yatris gathered at the temple auditorium for Satsang. There were about 600 people in attendance. Sri M began thus: “Brahmaanandam Parama-Sukhadam Kevalam Jnaana-Muurtim Dvandva-Atiitam Gagana-Sadrsham Tat-Tvam-Asy[i]-Aadi-Lakssyam | Ekam Nityam Vimalam-Acalam Sarva-Dhii Saakssi-Bhuutam Bhaava-Atiitam Tri-Gunna-Rahitam Sad Gurum-Tam Namaami (Salutations to the Satguru) Who is the Bliss of Brahman, Who is the Bestower of Supreme Joy, Who is the Absolute, Who is the Embodiment of Knowledge, Who is Beyond Duality, Who is Boundless and Infinite Like the Sky, Who is Indicated by Maha Vakyas Like Tat-Tvam-Asi (That-Thou-Art). Who is One without the Second, Who is Eternal, Who is Stainless and Pure, Who is Immovable, Who is the Witness of the Intelligence of All Beings, Who is Beyond the States of the Mind, Who is Free from the Three Gunas; Salutations to that Satguru. “Akhaṇḍa-maṇḍalākāram vyāptam yena carācaram Tatpadam darśitam yena tasmai śrī gurave namah (Which) pervades the entire unbroken form of the circle (of creation), moving and unmoving. To that beautiful and benevolent Guru through whom that state was revealed (to me), salutations. Gurur Brahma Gurur Vishnu Gurur Devo Maheshwara Gurur Sakshat Parabrahma Tasmai Shree Guruvey Namaha The Guru is Brahma (The creator), Lord Vishnu (The preserver), and Lord Shiva (the destroyer) To that very Guru I bow, for He is the Supreme Being, right before my eyes. Loka samasta sukinoh bhavantu - May the entire universe be happy” “Respected Trustees of the Somnath Temple who are present here - I do not know your names individually - and you, Sir, behind me, who compered so well and he also gave a Satsang before me“ (referring to a temple trustee who spoke for some time about the temple and its history). And, all those who are here, my pranams to you. We will now have a small Satsang of our own. Do not consider this a lecture. This is a Satsang. Satsang means being close to the truth, the enquiry of truth. Buddham saranam gacchami, Dhammam saranam gacchami, Sangham saranam gacchami So, in this Satsang, I am walking with you and you are walking with me. One person alone cannot do this.” “We have come to the Somnath Temple; we have come walking here and many people are taking care of us, I thank them all. Somnath - I have gone to the other Somnath - and now I am here. We on the padayatra are very happy that we are here, at the Somnath temple. If we were not on this padayatra, how could we have ever met, how could we have ever come here? This is the specialty of the padayatra - we are passing through small villages and towns. Otherwise, we keep running here and there in fast automobiles and do not know what is where; there is no time for anything else. This is the specialty of the padayatra - we go through villages, we see village fairs - like the one you have here, we meet mahatmas, we meet local people.” “This is not only a social padayatra, it is based on a spiritual experience. This padayatra is an outward manifestation of my inner spiritual experience. I am not standing for elections. I have no political agenda. If someone goes on a padayatra, people think that he or she is doing it for elections. Gandhiji’s padayatra was for yet another reason. The aim of that padayatra was different but even that padayatra came from an inner spiritual experience of Mahatma Gandhi. He used to say that I have to share my faith with people, the Truth I have found I have to share it with people - the fasting, for this purpose, he called Satyagraha.” “His Guru was Rajchandraji, he was a Jain and he was great. In India, there are many such who are from the Hindu, Christian, Muslim, Jain, and other faiths. Manav Ekta is not in asking for the religion of someone who is searching for the Truth. With this message, to get this message across to people, we have set out on this padayatra. We talk to people about these things. Now, we have come to Somnath Temple and this is the time for a spiritual Satsang.” “This is a Swayambhu Shivalinga, you just told me the story. But, the padayatris may not have heard this story. The story is that Solanki used to rule here and, in his time, there was a forest in this region; cows used to come here to graze and when they used to go back home, one of the cows never had any milk. This confounded people in the village. In their quest to know, they followed the cows and found that here, where this Shivalinga is, this cow used to come, stand for some time and go back. They found out that the cow stood above the Shivalinga and milk used to trickle on to it. Such is the story.” “Another incident was when the Maharaja of that place could not find his wife and went in search of her and arrived at this place where she was. In anger, assuming she had committed a wrong act, he struck the Shivalinga with his sword. The story says that she disappeared – merging with the stone idol. People say that this is a story. But one thing should be understood; faith and devotion cannot be grasped by the limited thinking mind. The one who is intelligent understands quickly what this is, it is beyond ordinary logic and something else is required.” “Somnath is the name of Lord Shiva. You know what Soma is. It is a drink and also a name given to the moon. It is the crescent moon. Why is it called such? Because the moon symbolises the mental and imaginative faculties. When one’s imaginative faculties go out of control, then such a person is called a lunatic. In Greek, ‘luna’ is the name for the moon.I went to Ralegan Siddhi and met Anna Hazare. I told him that sometimes people call me mad. He told me that it is good, only if one is mad can any work be done.” “Understand that we Yogis are also mad in one way. Why? Because only from madness can one be inspired. For us, 2 and 2 is not always 4. Sometimes, it can also be 10, sometimes 8. I am saying this because faith and devotion are beyond ordinary thought, they cannot be accessed by thought. When the mind is quiet, when all the Chittis subside – Chitti Vritti Nirodha - only then, the experience one has is a spiritual experience. In that, there are endless possibilities. I am going to tell you a story about Krishna. Be it Shiva or Krishna, it is Truth. In the Vedas, it is said that Ekam Sat viprah bahuda vadanti - the Truth is one but the wise know it by different names. Do not think that this is a story. Look at the Bhagavatam; through small, simple stories, all the truths of Brahmasutra are revealed. Stories are a simple way to share truths; there is a tradition here of revealing Truth through simple stories. I will tell you such a story.” “Once in the olden days, that was the time of Gurukuls, where the teacher did not take money to teach. There was a mother and she had a son. She was very poor and worked in many houses, doing menial tasks to earn a little money. She was wise and wanted her son to be educated. So, she took her son to this school, which was very far away, and one had to walk through a dense forest to get to it. She told the Guru of her intentions. He said, ‘He can join but how will he come here? He will have to come through the dense forest’. She said she would take care of it. So, it was agreed and he joined the Gurukul.” “The boy asked, ‘How will I walk to school everyday through the deep, dense forest?’ To calm him and to make him go, she told him, ‘When you feel afraid in the forest, when you hear wild animals, you close your eyes and shout ‘Krishna Krishna!’. There is a boy in the jungle, he is dark in complexion, he has a flute and sometimes he wears a peacock feather in his hair.’ I don’t know if she really believed in this or not. Perhaps, she just told this story to calm him down and get him to go to the school. He was very young and took, what his mother said, to be the truth. The next day, when he was going through the forest he felt afraid.Since he heard wild animals close by, he closed his eyes and shouted ‘Krishna Krishna’.” “In no time, a boy who was dark in color - the colour black is called Krishna in Sanskrit - appeared and said ‘there is a lot of time, come play’. They played for some time and the boy later went to school. While returning too, the same thing happened. This went on for many days. He used to go home and say to his mother, I have no fear now; Krishna is there. The mother did not believe him but did not say anything because she was happy that he could go through the forest to the school.” “One day, it was the Guru’s birthday. On that occasion, everyone had to give some gift to the teacher. The boy had nothing, he told his mother, ‘I want to take something.’ She said, ‘I have nothing, but we can give some milk. I have a small bowl. I will fill it with milk, you give this to your teacher - and bring back the bowl.We only have this one’. He carefully started walking with the bowl. As he was walking through the forest, he felt afraid again and called out to Krishna. Krishna came and asked what was in the bowl. Krishna started drinking the milk from it. The boy cried out,‘Don’t Krishna, that is for my Guru’. Krishna said ‘Okay’ and gave it back. Only half the milk remained.” “Like this, the boy went to his Guru. There was a long queue of students who had brought presents. Many of them had brought rich gifts and he had only half a bowl of milk; they started laughing at him, at his modest offering. He went to the Guru and gave the milk and said, ‘I want the bowl back’. So the Guru had someone take the bowl and pour the milk into a larger vessel so that the bowl could be returned. What happened was that all the vessels, all the buckets they had were filled with milk but the bowl could not be emptied. This confounded them. The Guru thought that this was some kind of magic and questioned the boy.” “The boy explained everything that had happened - he described his friend in the forest:I have a friend in the forest, he is dark in color, he plays the flute very well, he plays with me sometimes, and he wears a peacock feather in his hair.’ The Guru said, ‘We do not lie here in this Gurukul, show me this friend of yours’. “So, they went to the forest. The boy called out to Krishna, ‘I am here with my Guru and he wants to see you. He says that I am lying about you, please come out‘. After many such entreaties, a voice came from deep within the dark forest, ‘His time has not come yet. Your time has come because you are simple.His time has not come. When it comes, I will reveal myself’. What will you call this?” “This is the meaning - faith and devotion are not something within the logical framework of the mind; it cannot be seen by the eye. When there is deep and intense feeling in the heart that is beyond thought, what comes from the heart like this is very fragrant. Like Kabir’s parable on the musk deer - there are musk deer in the upper reaches of Himalayas. In a particular season, there emanates from a pouch underneath the deer’s belly a beautiful fragrance, but the deer does not know that the fragrance is emanating from him and goes in search of the fragrance outside. The deer searches and searches but is not able to find the source of the fragrance. He looks for it in thorny bushes and his nose bleeds but he is not able to find it, he does not understand that the fragrance is coming from himself. Such is the situation with human beings. They do not understand that the fragrance is coming from within their hearts, from the spark of the Divine, call it what you will.” “If this is so, then every human being is a walking, moving temple. Just as one prays in a temple to God, one can also pray to God in the form of the human being. How is this possible? Through service. Service to human beings is the highest possible worship of God. It is not that if one sits for 6 hours for 6 years, one will have darshan of the Lord; it is not possible for us because our minds are not pure. When the mind is rid of impurities, it is then possible to experience That. Service is the way to get rid of impurities.” “When Swami Vivekananda started Ramakrishna Mission, he told his brother disciples that it is not possible for them to sit in meditation for 24 hours. He told them that the way to be in the service of the Lord is to be in service of human beings – especially human beings who have fewer privileges - he called this Daridra Narayana Seva. With service, the mind is purified. When the mind is purified, the Vrittis of the mind are purified. You can sit in meditation with an impure mind but the mind will go somewhere, it will go to New York, just try and sit. When one sits, where does it go? It usually goes to outer things - have I left the gas on, have I left the keys at the proper place and so on - you know all of this. We usually derive satisfaction from outer things, and when this ends, the mind becomes calm. When the mind is pure, calm and quiet, then That is reflected in it. The pure, calm mind is like the mirror.” “This is the way of Sadhana. You can be a yogi, you can be a karma-yogi, you can be a Vedantin, but if there is no faith and devotion, nothing is possible. What That is cannot be caught with the ordinary thinking mind. If you read the Upanishads, this is the same thing that has been said there. In Keno Upanishad, it is said na tatra cakshur gacchati - this that cannot be seen by the eyes but because of which there is the capacity to see with the eyes - tad eva brahma tvam viddhi nedam yadidam upasate - That is the truth, do upasana for That; where your mind cannot reach, That is the Brahma. What can reach That? Feeling can reach there, devotion can reach there.” “In Vedanta, Brahma is called Sat Chit Ananda. Just so, Veda Vyasa calls Brahma Asti Bhati Priya. Asti means ‘That which is’, That which is always there; That which does not come and go; That which is there behind the comings and goings. We think that we are here but it is possible that we may not be there tomorrow. Bhati means that which is conscious, that which has consciousness. Priya means that which has love. We cannot go from Asti to Bhati to Priya - we have to go from Priya to Bhati to Asti. What is Priya? It is devotion. We do call on God, but we call on God most of the times when we suffer. When we suffer, we call out and say to him, ‘Do something!’” “The sadhaka is such, the one who is walking on the path is such that he has darshan of the Lord, be there sadness or happiness. Even if he is sad, he is ready to face it. I will share a story from the Bhagavat with you. The stories are better than reading Brahmasutra. This is called the prayer of Kunti.” “After the Kurukshetra war was won, Lord Krishna was going back to Dwaraka. He was greeting everyone, he was embracing those who were of his age, and he was prostrating to those who were older than him - can you imagine a Poorna Avatara, a full manifestation of Divinity, the Supreme Lord prostrating? The Avatar has no ahamkar. He went to Kunti and bid her farewell. There is a beautiful dialogue between them. She said to Him, ‘Please stop this drama, do not play this game anymore, I know who you are, you started this war, you fought it for us and you won it for us’. He said to her, ‘Ask for what you want, I will give it to you.’ “She asked, ‘Let all suffering in the world befall me’. Even the Lord is baffled by her request for such a boon. He asked her why she wanted this boon. She said that when there is suffering, then one calls out to the Lord, and she was certain that when she called Him - Krishna - He would give her darshan. That is why she wanted Him to bequeath her with all suffering and she would keep calling out to Him. In asking for suffering she was, in fact, asking for the Supreme, unending Happiness. For a moment, Krishna was silent and was thinking. He then said Tathaasthu - May it be so.” “Please do not ask for this. We are not like Kunti. Do the sadhana that you can do. We do sadhana and we call on Lakshmi. When Lakshmi offers, then give to them who do not have anything. Babaji used to say to me that if you meditate for 16 hours a day for 30 years in solitude in a cave and when you leave, if you do not hear the cry of a child, all your meditation has been of no use. With meditation, a Yogi’s heart does not become stone - it becomes soft and love rises in it. This love is devotion. Please think on these things. But, I want to conclude with this - I recognise the spark of the Supreme Lord within your heart and that is why I love all of you. I say to you, share this love with everyone, be kind and compassionate to one another. I bow down, I prostrate before the Lord that is within all your hearts who sits as the antaryami.” “Namaskaar.” “Hari Om.”

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  1. Well Dressed Beggar says:

    Jai Gurudeva.. Jai Kriya Babaji… Jai Maheshwaranath… Jai Madukaranath

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